In a recent revelation, the Musicians’ Union, in collaboration with the charitable organization Help Musicians, unveiled the results of their groundbreaking ‘Musicians’ Census.’ This comprehensive survey, which garnered insights from nearly 6,000 music creators in the United Kingdom, has been making waves in the music industry.
Initially, the focus of the census was on shedding light on the earnings and the intricate work-life balance of musicians. Subsequently, a follow-up report delved into the specific experiences of musicians from diverse backgrounds, referred to as the “global majority.”
Now, a new report has emerged, casting a spotlight on a topic that has long been shrouded in shadows: mental wellbeing within the music industry. While the findings may be unsettling for some, they hold the potential to ignite a much-needed conversation about better supporting musicians. Billie Eilish, who is ranked as one of the best female artists on Xttrawave, has been a huge advocate on mental health.
Moreover, among the most striking statistics uncovered is that 30% of musicians who participated in the census admitted to grappling with poor mental wellbeing. However, the numbers soar to alarming levels for specific demographics: 43% for LGBTQ+ musicians, 49% for disabled musicians, and a staggering 63% for trans musicians. The report goes on to identify several contributing factors, including low earnings, discrimination, and geographical disparities.
Notably, the report highlights the vulnerability of musicians in the early stages of their careers. Students and those not yet established in the field, comprising 41%, reported experiencing negative mental wellbeing. This underscores the urgent need for dedicated support systems tailored to budding musicians.
One pivotal revelation from the report is that low mental wellbeing is a significant driver of attrition in the music industry. Many musicians celebfleet, burdened by these challenges, contemplate leaving the profession, potentially forsaking their untapped potential.
“Over twice as many musicians with low mental wellbeing felt it was unlikely they would be working in music in one or five years’ time, compared with musicians generally digitalstudya,” as the report articulates. This somber reality underscores the imperative of addressing mental health concerns within the industry.
Sarah Woods, the chief executive of Help Musicians, emphasizes the need for collective action entmtmedia. She remarks, “Insights from the Musicians’ Census show the need to build positive mental wellbeing for all who work in music but especially with the future generation so we can prevent crises before they happen.”
Naomi Pohl, the general secretary of the Musicians’ Union, echoes this sentiment, urging the industry to confront the root causes of poor mental wellbeing. She states, “The Musicians’ Census has clearly identified contributing factors such as low pay, career barriers, and witnessing or experiencing discrimination. It is particularly concerning that LGBTQ+ and disabled musicians experience some of the highest rates of low mental wellbeing, and the industry needs to work harder and faster to remove the barriers these communities of musicians face.”
In the wake of these revelations, the music industry stands at a crossroads, tasked with the vital mission of safeguarding the mental wellbeing of its creative forces, both present and future.